12 Pumpkin Carving Tools for the Perfect Jack-O'-Lantern
Once you've found a smooth, symmetrical pumpkin, creating the perfect carved jack-o'-lantern becomes all about the tools. Look beyond the knife drawer to implements intended for other uses, like a melon baller, power drill, or keyhole saw.
Before carving, first decide how you are going to light your pumpkin. For a candle, you'll want to carve your hole in the top of the pumpkin so that the lid can be removed; for LED battery-powered lights, your first cut should be a circle from the bottom of the pumpkin.
You will find that each tool handles a different part of the carving process. Use a keyhole saw to make the initial cut into the pumpkin. Use a fleshing tool for removing the pulp and seeds, and to thin the pumpkin's walls (this allows more light to come through your design). Then, you can use a variety of tools—many of which are found at your local arts and crafts store—to carve in the details. Use a needle tool to transfer a design template to the surface of your pumpkin, which makes it easy to carve the perfect scary face. Use cookie cutters for decorative cutouts, or a melon baller to scoop out perfectly circular indentations.
To start, download and print one of our templates. They are designed to help you master the technique, providing both a certain amount of guidance and the room for creative freedom. Tape your chosen design to the pumpkin, and start to etch, carve, and even drill in the details. More elaborate pumpkin carvings will also take more time and attention than simplified designs. But having the right tools on hand helps to make your pumpkin masterpieces with expert precision.
Shop the Best Pumpkin Carving Tools:
- Woodcraft Harima Keyhole Saw
- Kemper Tools ″FT453″ Fleshing Tool
- Speedball Lino Set ″#40203-1009 No. 1″ Linoleum Cutter
- Kemper Tools Hole Cutter
- X-Acto Knife Blade
- PFEIL ″Swiss Made″ Gouge No. 7
- Kemper PNH-X Heavy Duty Cut-Off Needle With Hardwood Handle
- Lineco Awl
- Dritz 100 T Pins
- Dadam Star Cookie Cutters Set
- OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Melon Baller
- Black + Decker 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill